Tutorial: Install DSM 6.2.x on ESXi 6.7/7.0 as BAREMETAL

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I know there are tutorials for installing DSM on ESXi as "virtualization" by creating virtual SATA drive. I ran into DSM upgrade problem (Error 13) using that method. Finally, I've dicovered a way to let ESXi create an emulated USB storage for the loader (the BAREMETAL way)!


1. Get the loader.

Either take Jun's loader 1.04b and do some customization, or take the modified loader here.


1a. Modify VID/PID grub.cfg

If you are using the modified loader, the VID/PID has already been fixed. Skip to the next step.

If you are using original 1.04b loader, follow the baremetal guide to mount the second partition in the loader, edit grub.cfg using the following VID/PID set.

# VMware virtual USB mass storage
set vid=0x0e0f
set pid=0x0005


DO NOT remove any boot options, ONLY update VID/PID (and SN/MAC if you have them).


Then, use StarWind V2V Converter to covert the .bin to .vmdk. (Note: it will generate a .vmdk and a -flat.vmdk file. Both files are required)


2. Create VM in ESXi

While creating VM, add a USB 3.0 controller



In the VM options, select OS type "Other 4.x or later Linux (64-bit)".



In the boot option, select EFI firmware, uncheck Secure boot, and select Force BIOS setup.



After VM is created, DO NOT power it up for now.


3. Attach loader as emulated USB storage.

Go to ESXI datastore.


First, update synoboot.vmdk + synoboot.bin to the VM folder (synoboot.vmdk + synoboot-flat.vmdk if you follow Step 1a).


Then, download the VM's .vmx file (VM configuration file). Edit it with a text editor.


Make sure the following line present in the .vmx file.

usb_xhci.present = "TRUE"


Then, add the following line at the bottom of the file.

usb_xhci:3.present = "TRUE"
usb_xhci:3.deviceType = "disk"
usb_xhci:3.fileName = "synoboot.vmdk"
usb_xhci:3.readonly = "FALSE"


Re-upload the .vmx file to datastore.


Now it is ready to power up the VM.


4. Setup boot device

As soon as the VM is powered on, it should go into the BIOS settings.


Navigate to Enter setup -> Configure boot option -> Enable or disable boot option.


Leave "EFI USB device" as ENABLED and set the rest options to DISABLED.



Commit change and exit, and reboot the VM.




Now the DSM is running in ESXi in the same way as a "baremetal" installation. No more Error 13 while upgrade DSM!

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This actually works great. I am using a passed through Dell H200 HBA flashed to LSI IT-Mode. Also i am using a virtual SATA-Controller from ESXi with one disk in addition.


The only thing i noticed is that you have to use common_args instead of sata_args to define your port mappings.

The variable sata_args is ignored it seems.


My mapping is this:

Bay 1-8 Dell H200

Bay 9 VMware Disk

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On 5/3/2021 at 6:21 PM, tvon said:

I gave this a shot and it seemed to work but after going through the find.synology tool, it said the VM had no HD attached. 


If you have configured virtual disk, you'd better using a virtual SATA controller.


I'm actually using PCIe passthrough to attach my LSI 9211-8i to the VM, so the VM natively see 10 disks.

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